what to do?
DUBAI FRAME or AD LOUVRE
Maybe do both
Or wait for daughter to visit in new year
what to do?
DUBAI FRAME or AD LOUVRE
Maybe do both
Or wait for daughter to visit in new year
KL November 2017
I have just spent and inspirational week with delegates in KL
We were working on coaching through emotional inteeligence
Considering the risk context and the importance of risk aversion and risk tolerance
We viewed change process and how to influence with and without authourtiy
The group had three generations and the nationality base was predominantly BRUNEI and English the second language.
there have been some ”AH HA” moments during this journey and i have been thrilled with the outcomes of the entire experience
I wish i had seen this video before we closed the course as i would have shared it to demonstrate how essentia self belief , adaptability, resilience, conscientiousness, motivation, decision making and all the other EBW scales are in being successful
Teams are not just about doing together but also about thinking togehter
Groups of course have their place but as teams we can do wonders
Enjoy this clip
It is interesting that France is wearing the mantle of soft power in the West and UAE AD is baout to open THE LOUVRE 11th November
UAE has a soft power committee to develop this area of influence and awareness of other aspects of UAE
We are seeing the growth of RAK PEARLS and another form of culture and history in RAK
NOW a North Korean defector is proposing soft power is the only way to effect change for the better in NORTH KOREA
People power [remember AQUINO and Philippines] may be another way of describing this way of making change
Whether the defector changes his story or not it is enough that SOFT POWER is being spoken of
Especially when Putin is in IRAN just now
Life is an extraordinary journey indeed
North Korea defector urges US to use soft power
From the section Asia
Thae Yong-ho Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Thae Yong-ho was North Korea’s deputy ambassador to Britain
A high-level defector has told the US Congress that spreading outside information in North Korea is the best way to deal with the regime.
Thae Yong-ho said undermining Kim Jong-un’s God-like status among his people could be key to weakening his rule.
North Koreans “don’t care about state propaganda but increasingly watch illegally imported South Korean movies and dramas,” he added.
Mr Thae was deputy ambassador to the UK before he defected last year.
He is one of the highest-ranking officials ever to defect from North Korea.
Mr Thae’s speech before US lawmakers comes as President Trump is due to embark on a trip to Asia, including South Korea.
Tensions between North Korea and the West have risen over the past months as Pyongyang has conducted several missile tests and claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb.
In his first ever visit to Washington, Mr Thae told Congress: “We can educate (the) North Korean population to stand up by disseminating outside information.”
He also urged officials to meet at least once with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, to understand his thinking and convince him that his nuclear programme is risking mass destruction.
“It is necessary to reconsider whether we have tried all non-military options before we decide that military action against North Korea is all that is left,” he said.
Thae Yong-ho: My family have been punished
Keeping up with the Kims: North Korea’s elusive first family
Nine charts which tell you all you need to know about North Korea
Changes in North Korea meant that “contrary to the official policy and wish of the regime, the free markets are flourishing”, he said.
People were getting more access to outside information, including through micro SD cards which were small enough to be easily smuggled into the country, he added.
Young North Koreans have begun calling said devices “nose cards” because they can be smuggled even inside one’s nostrils, he cited as an example.
These developments “make it increasingly possible to think about civilian uprising in North Korea as more and more people gradually become informed about the reality of their living conditions,” he argued.
Kim Jong-unImage copyrightAFP
Mr Thae urged US officials to meet Kim Jong-un at least once
“The US is spending billions of dollars to cope with the military threat and yet how much does the US spend each year on information activities involving North Korea in a year? Unfortunately, it may be a tiny fraction,” he said.
The rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have seen US President refer to Kim as “little rocket man,” while the North Korean leader called Trump a “mentally deranged dotard”.
North Korean defectors are one of the few sources of information about life in North Korea – yet critics caution that defector’s testimonies might not always be credible, and that some defectors have changed their stories in the past.
wow this is amazing
saying stuff many think
Is Europe’s ghostliest train station about to rise again?
1 October 2017
From the section Magazine Share this with Facebook Share this with Twitter Share this with Messenger Share this with Email Share
Exterior picture of CanfrancImage copyrightALAMY
It was one of the world’s most opulent railway stations, sitting imposingly on the French-Spanish border – but then it fell into disrepair. Now, writes Chris Bockman, the building is showing new signs of life.
When they built the station at Canfranc, it was on a grand scale and with no expense spared. It had to be bold and modern – an architect’s dream come true, built in iron and glass, complete with a hospital, restaurant and living quarters for customs officers from both France and Spain.
At the time it was nicknamed the “Titanic of the Mountains”.
To give you an idea of its size – there are 365 windows, one for each day of the year; hundreds of doors; and the platforms are more than 200m long. The question is, how did such a extravagant station, high up on a mountainside in a village with a population of just 500 people, ever see the light of day?
Abandoned Canfranc ticket hallImage copyrightALAMY
The ticket hall fell in to disrepair after the French abandoned the train line in 1970
At the turn of the 20th Century, the Spanish and French authorities had a grand project to open up their border through the Pyrenees, enabling more international trade and travel. It was a remarkably ambitious scheme, involving dozens of bridges and a series of tunnels drilled through the mountains.
At one point, work stalled as the French workers were sent off to fight in World War One. They were replaced by Spanish counterparts.
Celebrating the digging of the Somport tunnel in 1912Image copyrightALAMY
Celebrating the digging of the Somport tunnel in 1912, which would form part of the international train line
The station was built just to the Spanish side of the border, but one of the platforms was still considered French territory – like a kind of foreign embassy. French police and customs staff sent their children to a French-speaking school installed in the village.
But the day the station was opened in 1928 by the French President Gaston Doumergue and Spanish King Alfonso XIII, flaws quickly became apparent.
The rail gauges were different, so passengers still had to change trains. It made transporting goods as freight too slow. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 didn’t help.
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In the early 1930s, as few as 50 passengers a day were using Europe’s second-biggest train station. And then things got worse. During the Spanish Civil War, Franco ordered the tunnels on the Spanish side sealed off, to prevent Republican rebels from smuggling weapons in.
When the international line re-opened during World War Two, however, the route was used by thousands of Jews and Allied soldiers to escape into Spain.
Three disused train carriages near CanfrancImage copyrightALAMY
Disused train carriages sit alongside the rails near Canfranc
Today, the mayor of Canfranc is Fernando Sanchez, whose father was a customs officer at the station – he told me it became a spy hub for the Allies, but the Germans also used the rail line to transport gold they’d stolen from Europe.
After the war, the French lost interest in the line and allowed it to deteriorate. When a train derailed on the French side in 1970, that signalled the end and France abandoned the line.
The Spanish were furious, according to Fernando Sanchez – there was an international agreement to maintain the line and the French were accused of breaking it. Canfranc’s population, which had risen to 2,000 thanks to the station, dwindled to 500.
The grand building itself went to rot. The tracks rusted, the ceilings fell in with the harsh winter weather and vandalism did the rest.
The bar at Canfranc stationImage copyrightALAMY
The bar at Canfranc station, which fell in to disrepair
But a few years ago the local government in Aragon decided to buy the place and restore it, claiming it was a major part of Spanish history. In the past four years 120,000 people have visited, wearing hard hats – ironically, far more than ever actually used the line when it was in service.
Nearly all the tourists are Spanish. They’re fascinated by the station’s size, and perhaps also a little proud of its symbolism – the image it projected to the world. There are now even two trains a day between Saragossa and Canfranc.
Now the Aragon government wants not only to refurbish the station as a hotel, but to build another one right next to it, and relaunch rail travel through the Pyrenees. The French regional government based in Bordeaux has agreed to reopen the line on its side too.
Its president, Alain Rousset, told me the route through the achingly beautiful Valley of Aspe will be branded the the “western trans-Pyrenean line” when it opens. He promised to find 200 million euros (£175m) to pay for it, and Brussels will offer matching funds.
Rousset says he has made a lot of enemies by pushing for this plan – pointing out that politicians in Paris had envisaged a motorway instead.
Graffiti scrawled on walls in the valley now read “Long live Canfranc”. The line is back in favour.
If all goes to plan, the Titanic of the Pyrenees could be back in business within five years. I noticed that the massive wooden ticket counters at the station have already been restored.
Tower at diamond crossing, Walkerton, IndianaImage copyrightJOHN SANDERSON
Tower at diamond crossing, Walkerton, Indiana
Photographer John Sanderson discovered the delight of taking pictures as a 13-year-old, shooting the Strasburg Rail Road and its historic steam engine. Returning to the subject of railways in adulthood, he rebelled against his younger self and this time chose to photograph American railroads devoid of trains.
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